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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Residential placement (Sec. 300.104)

Comment: A few commenters requested that the regulations clarify that parents cannot be held liable for any costs if their child with a disability is placed in a residential setting by a public agency in order to provide FAPE to the child.

Discussion: Section 300.104, consistent with section 612(a)(1) and (a)(10)(B) of the Act, is a longstanding provision that applies to placements that are made by public agencies in public and private institutions for educational purposes and clarifies that parents are not required to bear the costs of a public or private residential placement if such placement is determined necessary to provide FAPE. If a public agency determines in an individual situation that a child with a disability cannot receive FAPE from the programs that the public agency conducts and, therefore, placement in a public or private residential program is necessary to provide special education and related services to the child, the program, including non-medical care and room and board, must be at no cost to the parents of the child.

In situations where a child's educational needs are inseparable from the child's emotional needs and an individual determination is made that the child requires the therapeutic and habilitation services of a residential program in order to "benefit from special education," these therapeutic and habilitation services may be "related services" under the Act. In such a case, the SEA is responsible for ensuring that the entire cost of that child's placement, including the therapeutic care as well as room and board, is without cost to the parents. However, the SEA is not responsible for providing medical care. Thus, visits to a doctor for treatment of medical conditions are not covered services under Part B of the Act and parents may be responsible for the cost of the medical care.

Changes: None.